actor-auditions-competence-los-angeles-new-york.jpgActors are always looking for ways to increase their chances of being called back for auditions. Clearly, having strong acting skills is key. But, the art of auditioning extends beyond talent, and into the areas of practicalities as well as strong character. Here are some tips to audition with competence every time:

Come prepared. It’s surprising to know how many actors show up for an audition not knowing their lines or about the role they are coming in for–or even what the project is. Make sure to call your agent before your call time for pertinent information, or contact the casting office in advance. Also, research who you are auditioning for, and be aware of the product or service you are hoping to represent. Additionally, in the interest of preparation, it’s important to come to the audition emotionally ready. Accept that nerves can be a predictable part of an actor’s job, so do what you need to do to minimize them. Actors have countless and unique ways of centering themselves. Some swear by deep breathing and yoga, a favorite song that puts them in the zone, a good workout beforehand, or a good night’s sleep. It might help to give some real thought to your own special routine that promotes your personal best.

Always be on time for auditions. When you find yourself thinking about how busy you are, just remember: everyone is busy. When you show up too early or too late for an audition–or if you ask to go in front of other auditioning actors–you are at high risk of one of the worst offenses: not respecting others’ time. Think of your needs ahead of time: rush hour, parking, gas, coffee, etc.. Do you need to change into your wardrobe? Consider making it a habit to leave fifteen minutes early. The whole idea is to walk into the audition room on time feeling calm, confident, and focused.

Be positive. All your words should be positive. You can be genuine in this respect when you keep in mind something you like about the casting director, product, or company. Make a conscious decision about how you want to be perceived: confident, humble, enthusiastic, down-to-earth. It can help to have a list of words to convey the qualities you hope to project, and have your tone of voice and body language follow suit. It’s safer to avoid telling controversial or sarcastic jokes which might be misinterpreted. Use your attitude to your advantage with all the people you come into contact with: casting assistants, facility workers, camera operators, etc.. Assume they all are close friends or family members of the casting director or producer. Make sure they are only saying positive things about you.

Be ready to listen as soon as you walk into the audition room. Chances are, the casting director or camera operator is about to spill precious gems about the specific qualities the role requires. Yes, you came prepared, and learned your lines…but there’s likely more to know. While nerves can overtake an actor at the precise moment these gems are about to be spilled, an actor would be wise to enter the audition room ready to be an exceptional listener. Why exceptional? Studies indicate that people only retain about half of what they hear. An exceptional listener has a distinct advantage over the competition. And don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if needed.

Be confident. Know that the casting director truly is on your side hoping you achieve your personal best in any given session. Be confident that you were invited to the audition because casting saw something favorable in you. Never assume you are doing a bad job. You have limited information, and you never can tell what another person is thinking–so don’t waste your time trying. And there’s no reason to apologize if you feel your audition missed the target. Consider yourself in good company; certainly every great actor has had to suffer through a bad audition or two–or more! Simply thank them for the opportunity to audition, and then move forward. If you’ve conducted yourself as a professional, you have an excellent chance of being invited back time and time again.